Since the purpose of ubiquitisation is to be where the customer is, identifying sites near large numbers of customers is a key element of this strategy. As Conrad Hilton is often quoted as saying – “there are three things that are important in the hotel business – location, location, location”. The criteria for site selection are discussed in our book (pages 87-89), but the precise criteria will vary from service business to service business.
Given the three forms of extended ubiquitisation (see ‘principles of ubiquitisation’ in previous blog), each one needs to decide on different aspects of ‘location’. For technological ubiquitisation the decision relates where to locate the service facility. In many cases this is determined by the firm’s existing infrastructure. Most ATMs, but not all, are outside banks because it is easier to service them and monitor their security.
For mobile ubiquitisation the issues relates not to a fixed location but to creating routes around an area in order to maximise purchase opportunities. For instance, it can be argued that in the UK the mobile catering market that is very under exploited. It is estimated that there were just over 4,800 villages with a population of less than 500, of which the vast majority did not have a local chip shop or takeway, thereby creating a potential market for mobile fish and chip vans or other forms of catered food. Semi-static mobility is typically based around the selection of events, such as festivals, country fetes, sporting events, school fetes, country shows, weddings and corporate events.
For secondary locations, such as kiosks and micro-units, similar criteria are adopted as to site selection as are applied to the main outlet. However, since these units are smaller the volume of traffic is not expected to be as high as it would be for a typical chain operation.